By admin | June 5, 2012
By Richard Allen
It was announced on Monday afternoon that driver Kurt Busch has been suspended by NASCAR until June 13th and his probation has been extended through the end of 2012. That particular date will assure that Busch will miss the next Sprint Cup race in Pocono, even if a postponement due to rain is necessary. This move came on the heels of Busch threatening reporter Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News after Saturday’s Nationwide Series race in Dover.
Almost immediately, opinions as to whether Busch’s suspension was the right call or not came flying in from all directions. What some might consider surprising is that those opinions were somewhat mixed on the often controversial driver’s punishment.
During my nighttime walks around the neighborhood I like to pose questions on Twitter to help pass the time with some racing discussion. On Monday evening I conducted a highly informal, and thus unscientific, poll of my followers to gauge their reaction. The question was posed this way- “How about we do a simple poll… Agree or disagree… Kurt Busch should have been suspended.”
Responses came in quickly and varied. After about an hour of allowing fans to respond, the final tally was 36 in favor of the suspension with 28 opposed to the penalty. Along with their agree or disagree votes some added comments. Here are a few of those remarks:
“Threaten to beat the sh*t out of a reporter who was in NO WAY shape or form out of line? Yeah, F him! Suspend him,” said @NOTDaleJr88.
“I hate to say I disagree but what if it had not been on camera? Now, should the team/sponsor hold him out? Yes,” was the opinion of @2001MUgrad.
“Yeah absolutely. What else will get the message through? He needs to learn to act like an adult. Career about done,” declared @JeremyZarfos1.
“A suspension wasn’t enough. If he wants to kick some ass, set up a cage match with him and Harvick. That would be fun to watch,” said @shawnjordan1.
“I think that attitude makes racing entertaining! I have rode rage driving to and from work. Can’t imagine on the race track,” replied @Jilljmbdavidson.
The @NewMarketMauler has a more economically based viewpoint. “One other note, if a major sponsor was in place on that car there would 100% be no suspension.”
“I don’t like him, but Tony Stewart constantly harasses the media too with no trouble, I’m against the ban, for now,” said @IXI_Rhys_IXI.
“I think they should put @KurtBusch and @jermayfield in a charity boxing event and donate the proceeds!” suggested @UPSMAN_00.
@jimmysand1 sees a potential problem. “Being an a-hole isn’t the same as physically crossing the line, opens a can of worms for #NASCAR IMO” while @jimmie48rulz thinks the sanctioning body is playing favorites, “D.Patrick purposely puts Sam Hornish in the fence and nothing is said to her. Busch says one off color thing and he gets it.”
And finally, @Dylan_TLR added, “Hope the people in favor of Busch being suspended never complain NASCAR is too vanilla.”
As you can see, opinions were decidedly mixed. For my part, I would have voted in disagreement of the suspension. I believe another fine and an extension of the probation would have been a more appropriate response.
That said, I also believe that Busch was not really suspended for threatening reporter Bob Pockrass. I believe the real reason for the suspension was the driver’s thumbing his nose at his probation. In his post-race talks, he on at least two occasions pointed out that his actions would have been different if not for the restraint placed on him.
I believe NASCAR officials took exception to his making a public issue out of the probation, especially when he made the well publicized, “I can’t pick my nose right” remark.
But the bottom line is that even though this highly unofficial poll revealed more fans than not favored Busch’s suspension, there was a solid number who disagreed with the move by NASCAR.
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